Valerie’s Vineyard

Owner(s) Vicki Brown, Michael Coats, Valerie Coats, Chuck Hanson, Jerry Hanson
Web site
Link to this site
Valerie’s Vineyard

A single wine lovingly sourced from a 1-acre vineyard from the Carneros region of Sonoma County. Forget small, we are talking tiny here. Only 58 cases were produced from the 1-acre Valerie’s Vineyard in 2010. This vineyard is a group managed affair, the result of a partnership between long time Sonoma County public relations person Michael Coats, his wife Valerie, her parents Chuck and Jerry Hanson, and Valerie's sister, Vicki Brown. Chuck Hanson has been the primary wine buyer for Hi-Time Cellars in Costa Mesa, California, for 53 years. Each of the partners share equally in the work of the vineyard which is organically farmed and overseen by viticulturist Phil Cotourri.

The vineyard, formerly the site of a plum orchard, was originally planted in 2000 by vineyardist Chuy Ordaz on resistant rootstock and a secret Russian River Valley sourced clone. The land sits less than 500 feet from the appellation line dividing Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Carneros. The first release was in 2003. Yields are just under 2 tons per acre with production less than 100 cases.

The Valerie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is crafted by B.R. Cohn Winery winemaker, Tom Montgomery, at B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen. The wine is consistently stellar.

Valerie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir may be acquired by e-mailing or visiting the Hi-Time Cellars website at There is limited Sonoma Valley restaurant and retail distribution. With such limited production, the wine sells out quickly each vintage.

Reviewed Wines

2014 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 62 cases, $40. 12th vintage crafted by winemaker Jeff McBridge. Vineyard farming is guided by Phil Coturri. Produced and bottled at Benziger Family Winery. Aged 18 months in new and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of darker cherry, dried herbs and floral bouquet lead to a middleweight core of confected cherry and raspberry fruits accented with cola and brioche notes. Sleek, with harmonious tannins and inviting cherry fruit intensity on the finish. Score: 88. Reviewed June 5, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

93 cases, $40. Winemaker Jeff McBride (Benziger Family Winery). Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. A very savory wine with aromas of herbs, sous-bois and cigar box. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, blueberry and black raspberry with a riff of grilled mushroom and sweet oak in the background. Very earthy, with satiny tannins and some finishing length. I liked it more over time in the glass. Score: 90. Reviewed May 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2011 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 90 cases, $40. Ninth vintage. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light deep red color in the glass. Rather exotically scented, offering aromas of strawberry, cherry, briar, white pepper, rose hips tea and seasoned oak. Mid weight core of tasteful strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruits with a bombastic cherry finish. Seamless, with soft, tame tannins and balancing acidity. Spend some time with this wine and you will discover plenty of spicy nuances come and go. Quite elegant and easy to drink now but will age. Score: 92. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Valerie’s Vineyard “One Acre” Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 58 cases, $40. 8th vintage. Aged 18 months in new and 2-year-old French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Intriguing nose offering scents of dark red berries, earth, black pepper and coffee. Hits the mid palate with a vengeance, empowered with attention grabbing flavors of blackberries, plum, cola, mushroom, tobacco and spice. Very well-crafted with a seamless character, plush on the palate, with wellproportioned tannins, and a long, long finish. A very unique and interesting wine that you will want to spend considerable time with. Great the following the day as well from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Valerie’s Vineyard One Acre Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 75 cases, $40. From a small vineyard in the southern Sonoma Valley farmed by three families. Produced and bottled at B.R. Cohn Winery. Aged 18 months in new and twice-used French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Lovely aromas of ripe cherries, red plums and Provencal herbs. Moderately light in weight with “crunchy” red cherry and red raspberry flavors and a sidecar of savory herbs, cola, raisin and vanillin. Picks up character and intensity in the glass over time but veers a little to the raisiny, porto side. Admirable finesse and a zippy lift of acid on the refreshing finish. A lighter weighted, redder-fruited vintage for this vineyard. Source: website and Hi-Time Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA. Good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $40. Aged 18 months in new and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Ornate aromas and flavors of dark berries, Mu Shu plum sauce, cassis, tea, brown spice, and loamy earth. Very smoothly textured with finely ground tannins and amazing persistence of perfectly ripe fruit on the finish. The wine really grows on you over time. Will benefit from 1 to 2 more years in bottle. Year in and year out, one of the best Pinot Noirs to come out of Carneros. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 88 cases, $40. Aged in a mix of new and two-year-old French oak barrels for 17 months. · Nuanced nose offering pleasing aromas of dark berries, black plums, pine, dark caramel and soy sauce. Deep in color but moderately light in weight with plenty of dark fruit powered pleasure. Bright and focused with gossamer tannins offering alluring Pinot delicacy. A beautifully crafted wine that makes a statement and is well worth a search. A gem. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Valerie’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 132 cases, $40, very heavy bottle. Aged in a mix of new and two-year-old French oak barrels for 17 months. · The nose offers the aromas of a fresh berry tart with a dusting of oak. Plenty of body and weight to the cherry and berries flavors which are framed by healthy tannins. The most striking feature of this wine is the velvety texture. Over time in the glass, the wine really grows on you as it reveals many nuances of flavor including cola and tea but it is the sensual mouthfeel that lures you back for another sip. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

© 2003-2017 Rusty Gaffney MD | Contact the Prince: | Admin Login